The nice thing about the internet is that information travels at the speed of light, if your data speed is lightning fast, that is. The sad thing about the internet is that only information travels at the speed of light and not one’s immediate funding capacity. Take the case of this 1957 Volkswagen Beetle Oval Window: It was listed in a popular car auction website that we are subscribed to. Thus, when it came up for sale and the bidding started, it certainly grabbed our attention. We figured that this nice-looking old Beetle is a very tempting proposition even if it is located in New York, U.S.A. We figured that if played our cards right, we could win it with a fair bid, have a relative in the States pick it up and take care of it, then have it shipped to the Philippines as a “collectible car”, and pay all the requisite taxes to make everything legit.
Viewing the side of the car, the Agave Green finish, Brick Red interior, 5-spoke BRM alloy wheels, and lowered front end hints of the modifications done to this vintage Bug. Looking closely at the available photos, we can find a small amount of rust beginning to appear around the headlamps and a few paint chips, which are really minor blemishes. These are simple things that a good paint and body shop here in Metro Manila can immediately remedy. With the nice “Cal Look” stance, large rear exhaust system, and high coolness factor, this Volkswagen exudes a vibe that says it’s not just any regular vintage Beetle.
The main attraction of this ’57 Beetle is, as the name implies, its vintage oval-shaped rear window. It also features its own particular rear engine lid with a W-shaped crease running along the entire panel, the “Pope’s Nose” license plate lamp housing, small-style tail lamps, and those nice attractive chrome bumper with overriders. The back of this vintage Bug alone is enough to drive any Bug enthusiasts to push the “Buy It Now” button, which equates to the price that the seller is asking for, or what is termed in auctions as the “Reserve Price”.
Under the engine lid, you won’t find the original 1,192 cc (1.2-liter) flat-four but a 2,165 cc (2.2-liter) monster with a forged crankshaft, a lightened flywheel, Carrillo rods, A/A pistons and cylinders, a racing camshaft, a pair of Weber 44mm IDF carburetors, port-matched intake manifolds, and a set of headers that empty into the fat exhaust muffler at the back. The clutch and the 4-speed manual transmission have also been upgraded. According to the owner, the only mechanical issue is that the muffler has a hole that was due to numerous scrapes with the ground because of the vintage Bug’s lowered stance.
The owner claims that the interior of the Beetle has been refurbished and the photos show the seats and door trims with Brick Red upholstery, new carpet on the floors, and the new material in the headliner. The interior appears to be original and quite preserved, except for from a pair of new aftermarket gauges under the dash, to monitor the vital operation of the powerful engine.
The owner also supplied photos of the ’57 Beetle on a two-post lift to show the floor pan, which is quite solid despite the salt applied on the road during snow and winter months. Again, the hole in the muffler, which the owner attributed to scrapping the ground, is obviously something that can easily be repaired here in the Philippines by a competent headers, exhaust and muffler shop. But overall, this vintage Bug has a lot of nice things and great stuff going for it.
We can only conclude that this vintage Bug is structurally sound, clean and a collectible car worth considering. It is, after all, a vintage hot rod Oval Window Beetle, which makes it highly collectible and very desirable. For the purists, this may not be a completely original car but the seller claims that all of the modifications are completely reversible and that returning the ’57 Beetle to its original specifications is not only possible but easy as well, with the tons of parts and suppliers for the Type 1 Beetle. While we were seriously considering this 1957 Volkswagen Beetle Oval Window, we were informed that its “Reserve Price” has been met and exceeded. We stopped watching when the bids went to $16,000 or P832,000 at the current Dollar-to-Peso exchange rates. Indeed, the info traveled at the speed of light but our funds couldn’t keep up. Bye-bye, beautiful green Oval Window vintage Bug. We hope you’re going to a good home.